Originally Posted by bucksfan2
I figure this is about as good of a place to ask this question to the soccer fans.
I am watching an EPL game over this weekend and wondering to myself why England hasn't done much if anything on the national stage in years. Many consider the EPL to be the best league in the world, and granted they get a lot of stars from elsewhere, but the English National Team hasn't kept up with its neighbors.
I originally thought that it could be geography and demographics, kinda like recruiting edge the SEC has over the northern schools, but German and the Dutch have fielded competitive teams in similar climates. To compound that, who was the last great English soccer player? Beckham in his prime? It almost seems as if England is a maddeningly mediocre team, a la the US.
Last great English player? I'll go with Gary Lineker. Gazza might have been great, but injuries and booze undid him. Beckham has a dangerous right foot and he's a marketing machine. However, he never deserved to be ranked among top tier players.
As for the English national team, very few of the best players in the EPL are English. And almost no English players go to other leagues and make any sort impact. Steve McManaman was probably the last guy to do that. Beckham largely was a disaster at Real Madrid.
England gets beaten in the midfield. It just doesn't move the ball as well as the international elite. On the bright side, the team looked pretty good against Brazil the other day. Whether that's a sign that England is playing a better possession game or Brazil is in serious trouble, I don't know.